Our Raised Bed Garden

Tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, strawberries, squash, spring onions, potatoes, corn, and green beans. But I’m not done yet!

Since the Spring garden is almost completely planted, I thought I’d give you a peak at it. It doesn’t look like much right now, but you can see what we’ve done differently from last year.

We have a ton of scrap wood around here, so I had my husband throw together 8 garden boxes for me. Each one is 4’x8′ and a foot deep. He also made a special 4’x4′ box for Jada’s own little raised bed.

2010 spring garden (Medium)

I filled the boxes using the lasagna method. I explained the layers in detail when I showed you my strawberry bed, if you wanna check that out again. So far, I’m really enjoying having my plants in neat organized boxes. It’s just so much nicer than rows and patches. And the soil I’m planting in is much much better than the clay soil we have naturally around here.

If I could give you any advice, it would be to make sure that you build your boxes correctly. They need 4×4 posts screwed into the inside corners of each box, to keep them from pulling apart under the stress of being full of dirt.

If you can see in the picture, the first box there on the left is already pushing out at the bottom corner. We forgot to reinforce it with the 4×4’s. I’m going to have to pull the dirt back and get Jerry to fix it for me before I plant anything in it.

Also, make sure that when you are laying out your boxes, you allow room for a wheelbarrow to get through and maneuver around the boxes. We didn’t account for this, and have had a hard time squeezing a wheelbarrow down the rows.

So, let me give you a tour…

The box in the bottom right corner is where I’ve planted eight Brandywine Tomato plants. They were the ones that weren’t doing so good after being re-potted.

I figured I’d plant them first, and if they die, then I can replace them with the good ones I’m still hardening off. When planting tomatoes, they really need 2 square feet of room each. I still haven’t decided how I want to support these plants as they grow taller.

In the box directly behind the tomatoes, I have planted two rows of Blue Lake bush green beans.

In the box to the left of the green beans is where I planted 18 yellow crooked neck squash plants. These were one of two kinds of plants that I didn’t start from seed. I plan on buying some heirloom squash seeds next year.

Okay, so on to the “graffiti” box (he’s definitely gotta fix that!). To the left of the squash bed I’ve planted four cherry tomatoes (purchased at a nursery, at Jada’s request). I also planted a row of lettuce, which was dug up by something over night. Hopefully we’ll get some sprouts coming up still. And there are also several rows of carrots there as well.

In the box behind the “graffiti” box is where I relocated my potatoes. If you remember, I had them on the ground in rows using the “no dig” method.

Yeah, well the chickens just thought it was the greatest thing in the world to scratch through the piles of straw and scatter my seed potatoes everywhere. After re-covering them a hundred times I decided to move them to a box. It was pretty much using the same method.

I covered the dirt in the bottom of the box with newspaper, then placed the seed potatoes about a foot apart on the paper. I then covered them all with about 12 inches of straw. So far, nothing has dug them up again! No sprouts yet though. I’m hoping they aren’t dead from the drama.

Okay, to the right of the potatoes is my spring onion bed. I had a problem with a raccoon or something digging in the bed at night, and had to replant these guys twice. We got smart though, and covered the bed with a chainlink fence panel. The onion tops are now several inches tall, and lookin’ great!

The strawberry bed is to the right of this. It was also dug up several times, and is now covered by a chainlink fence panel. There are small white blooms on the strawberry plants.

I really hope we have a great yield! Some of these plants are in their second year, and some of them are new plants that grew off of the runners last year.

Behind the strawberries is Jada’s little bed. She planted two cherry tomatoes, a squash, and several strawberry plants. She’s so proud of her little garden!

In the rows we’ve planted corn. I’m saving a large patch behind the boxes for the melons. I also plan on planting pole green beans once the corn has begun coming up. I’ll use the corn stalks to support the growing bean vines.

So, that’s that! I’ll keep you updated as I plant more stuff, and as things grow and start producing. Praying for a great gardening year!!

11 thoughts on “Our Raised Bed Garden”

  1. When we moved to the land where we are now, I started out the way you did with not-so-great soil. My husband started building raised beds 2 years ago and I enjoy gardening SO much more now. Your beds look great!

    My strawberry plants that have spilled out to the ground outside the beds via runners still do better than the plants in the beds but we have had a big problem with slugs in the beds last year. Not on the ground. Just in the beds. I’m trying diatomaceous earth this year!

    Love reading about your gardening adventures!

  2. I look forward to you blog everyday. My 15 year old daughter and I especially appreciated your transparency on the Witnessing a Thief post. I could relate.

    Your garden boxes look really nice. I also have clay soil and use raised beds. I just wanted to mention that if you haven’t already read about square foot gardening, you may find that interesting. You will find plenty of info online, but there is also a great book called New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholemew.

    In square foot gardening the raised beds are no bigger than 4’x4′, so that you can reach in from any side and not have to step into the box, so you don’t compress any of the soil. In SFG the plants are closer together and the yield is very high. This works because of the soil used and the fact that you never step on the soil. The soil is mixture is 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 vermiculte. I think it cost me $50 for the peat moss and vermiculite to fill 2 beds, but this will last me for years. I encounter a stray weed once in awhile, but never have to spend time “weeding”. It’s such an easy way to garden!

  3. Is this your second year on your Strawberry’s? We are thinking about putting some out….Any tips??? Raised beds or not??? Holly

    • Holly,

      Yes, this is my second year with the strawberries. I’ve written several posts on planting and growing strawberries. You can look through my gardening posts, or search “strawberries”. They did good in the rows, even in the clay dirt. But I’m hoping that they will do even better in the rich soil of the beds. We’ll see!!If you have any specific questions for me I’ll be more than happy to lend you any advice I can 🙂

  4. You have done a wonderful job… I look forward everyday to see what you have posted 🙂 You are an inspiration to me along with some of my friends who have now started to follow your blog as well… Keep up the good work, you are doing a great job….BTW I love the idea of Jada having her own personnal garden…I am going to run this idea by my husband about my two older boys ( 8 yrs and 7 yrs ) to have their own this year… We always let them help pick out vegs. for the garden but I love the idea of them having their own 🙂 Love ya, Holly

  5. Wow, you guys have really been busy!!

    I love the raised beds!!

    I have a garden plot here but we are pretty limited by a rock ledge that runs through the property, so I was thinking that if we ever want to expand, raised beds will be the way to go for us!!

    Thanks for the pics!!


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